# 6*p* orbitals

**The shape of the three 6 p orbitals.** From left to right: 6

*p*

*, 6*

_{y}*p*

*, and 6*

_{z}*p*

*. For each, the yellow zones are where the wave functions have positive values and the white zones denote negative values.*

_{x}For any atom, there are three 6*p* orbitals. These orbitals have the same shape but are aligned differently in space. The three 6*p* orbitals normally used are labelled 6*p** _{x}*, 6

*p*

*, and 6*

_{y}*p*

*since the functions are "aligned" along the*

_{z}*x*,

*y*, and

*z*axes respectively.

Each 6*p* orbital has ten lobes. There is a planar node normal to the axis of the orbital (so the 6*p*_{x} orbital has a *yz* nodal plane, for instance). Apart from the planar node there are also four spherical nodes that partition off the small inner lobes. The 7*p*) orbital is more complex still since it has five spherical nodes.

The origin of the planar node becomes clear when inspecting the wave equations which, for instance, includes an *x* term in the case of the 6*p** _{x}* orbital. When

*x*= 0, then there is a node, and this by definition is the

*yz*plane.

The origin of the spherical nodes becomes clearer when inspecting the wave equations, which include a (840 - 840*ρ* + 252*ρ*^{2} - 28*ρ*^{3} + *ρ*^{4}) term. When (840 - 840*ρ* + 252*ρ*^{2} - 28*ρ*^{3} + *ρ*^{4}) = 0, then there are nodes.

The Orbitron

^{TM}, a gallery of orbitals on the WWW: https://winter.group.shef.ac.uk/orbitron/

Copyright 2002-2021 Prof. Mark Winter [The University of Sheffield]. All rights reserved.